October 30 down the years
Larkham steers Wallabies into final
Australia fly-half Stephen Larkham slots the winning drop goal, Australia v South Africa, World Cup, Twickenham, October 30 1999
Stephen Larkham slots a drop-goal in the World Cup semi-final © Getty Images

Australia scraped in to the Rugby World Cup final. In a game of no tries but heart-wrenching drama the Wallabies defeated reigning champions South Africa 27-21 after extra-time at Twickenham. It was a tale of two drop-goals, the first coming from Jannie de Beer to take the game in to the uncharted waters of World Cup extra time. The Springbok fly-half added a penalty in the added time to add to five others, but his kicking feats were outdone by Matt Burke and Stephen Larkham. Burke was at his metronomic best from the kicking tee, cancelling out de Beer's last-gasp effort with a penalty before Larkham, a non-kicking fly-half, settled the affair with an arching, monster of a drop-goal from 45 metres. There was enough time for Burke to add another penalty as the Springboks had no answer.

Scotland and British & Irish Lions legend Ian McGeechan was born in Leeds. Having begun his career as a fly-half at Headingley, it was in the centre where international recognition would follow. McGeechan made his international debut against New Zealand in 1972, at No.10, and became a fixture of the Scottish midfield. He was selected for his first Lions tour in 1974 and played all four Tests for the 'Invincibles' in South Africa. His association with the tourists continued as a player in 1977 and for the first time as coach in 1989. In the hotseat he inspired series wins in 1989 and 1997, coming close to winning in New Zealand in 1993 and not so close as part of the coaching staff in 2005. His final tour as coach came in 2009, when his Lions lost a classic Test series in South Africa. McGeechan has also coached Scotland, Wasps and Northampton during a distinguished career.

Impressive France gave notice to the Home Unions of their Grand Slam potential beating Australia 34-6 (six tries to nil) at the Parc des Princes. The legendary Jean-Pierre Rives crossed the Australian line in what remains their biggest victory over the Wallabies.

In their first-ever representative match against Argentina, New Zealand won 21-9 in Buenos Aires. Hugo Porta dropped a goal for the Pumas while Peter Sloane and Stu Wilson crossed for All Black tries. The visitors did not award Test caps for the game.

Loughborough Colleges reached the end of October with an extraordinary scoring record. Their three XVs end the month with 334 points for and only 24 against in nine matches. Star players were Welsh wing Ken Jones and future Wales fullback Gerwyn Williams.

Dick Uzzell dropped the goal that sealed Newport's 3-0 victory over Wilson Whineray's All Blacks.

Referee Gwyn Walters abandoned the Llanelli-Belgrano match after 60 minutes owing to pouring rain. Llanelli, leading 8-0, were happy to leave the field, but the Argentinian tourists stood their ground and eventually come off to claim victory on the grounds that their opponents had withdrawn from the game.

Guy's Hospital marked the 125th anniversary of their foundation with a match against Dr. Windsor Lewis's start-studded Invitation XV. The guests included Lions and England tight-head Tony Horton who announced that the game would be his last first-class match.

Dawie de Villiers's Sixth Springboks landed at Heathrow Airport for the "demo" tour that was to be their last official visit to the UK for 23 years.

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